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CAA China extends esports reach with Momentum merger

CAA China has acquired Momentum Sports, a leading Chinese marketing and talent agency for sports, esports and sports-entertainment crossover clients.

Following the merger – which also sees Legend Capital, an investor in Momentum Sports, become a CAA China shareholder – Momentum Sports founder Mark Gao will work with Mary Gu, CAA China’s CEO, to grow Creative Artists Agency (CAA)’s sports activities in the world’s most populous country.

CAA China, a joint venture between CAA and private-equity firm CMC, launched last April, aiming to create an “alliance of industry leaders in the world’s fastest-growing entertainment market”.

Gao launched Momentum Sports in 2016 after serving as vice-president of NBA China. Over the past two years, Momentum has provided professional and prospective consulting services for both local and international brands, including vivo, Mengniu, Home Credit, BMW, Logitech and Nike, and sports and esports clients, including footballer Bowen Huang and rising basketball star Shaojie Wang.

“Mark Gao and his internationally minded management team at Momentum will … help further our efforts in China”

“Mark Gao and his internationally minded management team at Momentum will join our world-class sports business, helping further our efforts in China in such high-demand areas as broadcast rights, sponsorship, IP and operation,” says Gu, who joined as CEO last July. “In this moment of remarkable opportunity in China, Momentum’s local sports insights and experience, combined with CAA’s global reach and resources, will play a key role in the continued acceleration of our growth strategy.”

Adds Gao: “We are excited to become part of a company with such a stellar global reputation like CAA and look forward to working collaboratively with our new colleagues – both domestically and internationally – to develop new opportunities for clients in the market.”

In addition to its new ties with Momentum Sports, CAA’s Evolution Media firm has a US$38m stake in Vision Esports, which owns esports agency Echo Fox and league operator Twin Galaxies, while CAA Sports is a partner is Elevate Sports Ventures, which recently agreed strategic partnerships with Live Nation and Oak View Group.


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